The Eleven Dogs Behind Eleven Dogs (The Muses)

Apr 4, 2022

Howlllooooooooooooooo! We’re so excited that you’re here with us!

This is our bark blog where us dogs will be sharing our thoughts and ideas on life, the universe and everything.

We promise not to bore you too much with our daily menu, though this does excite us immensely.

For starters, we are thrilled to the bone that we have a book written about us. Our Mom, Jennifer, really, really loves us a lot! One morning while drinking her coffee on the stoep, she decided to pen a poem about how we were greeting all the joggers past our front gate. And suddenly, we had a full story about us! We are thrilled that we are her muses!

Mom is a graphic designer / copywriter. When she owned her ad agency, she used to take us to work every day with her. But back then, there were just 3 of us, so it was a lot easier. Mom loves all animals, but has a very soft spot for dogs. Dad won’t let her visit rescue centres anymore because she always brings a new brother or sister home. We’re pretty used to the idea of fostering now. Anyway, that’s how we ended up being such a big, happy pack.

We don’t fight, we love cuddling and we are ALWAYS on top of our mother. ALWAYS.

Every day we get a walk. Altogether. All at once. Not quite sure why Mom freaks out so much?

We all sleep in Mom and Dad’s bedroom.

In no particular order, here’s a bit about each of us:

Henry Higgins is a ridgeback cross dachshund (!), and is diabetic and blind. He has adjusted remarkably well to his disability and navigates home and the world with happy confidence. Henry’s nickname is Dr Dog, because he’s the one who is concerned about everyone else. When mom or Dad, or another pack member is sick, he sits quietly with them. He’s very gentle, very sweet and very good-natured. Now that he is blind, his sense of smell is more powerful than ever! He can find the tiniest morsel of food ANYWHERE!

Diesel was a big, clumsy basset. Sadly, he crossed the rainbow bridge very suddenly on 4 July 2021, but not before he was written into the book! He was a clown and loved to play. Of course, anyone who knows bassets knows those big, long ears are purely decorative, because they do not listen! Diesel developed intervertebral disc disease and became paralyzed in his hind quarters. That didn’t stop him though. Mom and Dad bought him a wagon and a harness to support and lift up his back legs, and he always went on every walk with the rest of us. To the beach, to the golf course, to the forest…everywhere! As Mom and Dad always say, “No one gets left behind”.

Kayla is a schipperke. She is chilled to the extreme. She loves to eat. She is on a BIG, BIG, BIG diet! She is jet black. Mom wanted to name her “K” or “Key”, because ‘Key” is the name for black ink in printing. But it needed a second syllable for times when Kayla was in trouble, so somehow that “la” got tacked onto the end and the name Kayla stuck. Despite her large size, she is remarkably quick and an avid hunter of birds and mice. (We suspect that she’s supplementing her strict diet with these side orders which could explain why she never loses that weight.)

George was rescued from a drug den as a teeny tiny puppy. He is a pug cross dachshund with a curly pug tail, big eyes, pug under bite, but dachshund everything else… including personality! He is the baby of the pack. (Which he knows and milks!) When he is excited he has a high-pitched, squeaky-squawky “bark”. He is good-natured, snuggly and lots and lots of fun. And we all think he is ridiculously cute!

Theodore Benjamin (Teddy) is WILD! He is very possessive of everyone. Even visitors. Everyone belongs to HIM and HIM ALONE! He is a bit of a bull-in-a-china-shop, despite his tiny stature. But he is so cute and such fun, that he’s always quickly forgiven. He’s very shaggy and has a superior air about him. He is faaaaaar too clever for his own good, and if he was a human, he’d definitely qualify as a Mensa Member!

Miss Daisy is a quite old, rather crumbly, arthritic dachshund, but behaves like a puppy! She loves, loves, loves to play, eat and cuddle. And boy, can she SNORE! Her favourite person is Mom and she never ever leaves her side. Her favourite toys are squeaky balls. She loves carrots, apples, lettuce, cucumber, broccoli….honestly, she loves everything. She is never In a bad mood. Her tail is a fine example of perpetual motion. We all adore her!

Dudley is a 13 or 14 year old long-haired dachshund who was rescued out of a township from a very bad situation. That was 3 years ago. He’s taken a very long time to settle down, but finally loves to be cuddled and asks to be picked up. His fur is so, so soft, but he needs to be brushed often or he looks like Bob Marley with dreadlocks. He’s happy and friendly, though quite a loner. He doesn’t like to play, but he does like snuggling. His favourite spot is Dad’s pillow. And his favourite food is a bowl of dry pellets covered in a lot of anchovette!

Didi is the most beautiful, white basset girl. She is 13. She can be extremely grumpy and moody, but when the planets align and she’s so inclined, she is sooooo loving. She has a very deep, very gruff bark. She is Dad’s girl and sleeps under his desk while he works. The only time she leaves Dad’s side is a) if dad’s away on business, so Mom has to suffice, or b) when mom is in the gym. For some reason she likes that room and always gets the jollies!

Roxanne is noisy!! And licky!! And so very, very, very loving! She makes funny squeaky noises when she wants your attention. She has a beautiful, toothy smile that she greets people with. Roxy likes most things, but she detests water and bathing. As in really loathes it. If Mom doesn’t catch and wash her first, she hides somewhere in the garden for most of the day. Mom baths us often. We don’t love the water, but we love being rubbed dry. Plus, mom always gives us kudu biltong afterwards as a reward for being so good! Rox is playful and misses her Diesel a lot.

Pippa is a tiny scrap of a dog. She is incredibly nervous and really doesn’t like anyone in the whole world except for Mom and Dad. She had a very bad start that we don’t talk about much. When she came to live with us she was scared of everything including the water bowl.. and toys… and the telephone… and the other dogs barking… and, and, and. But she’s much better now. All of us have worked hard on building her confidence and reassuring her that we love her. She’s home. And she’s safe. Forever now!

GEMMA! What can I say about Gemma? She’s a well-meaning thug! If she was a human, she’d be Missy Elliot! She’s the Energizer bunny. She’s a tornado. She’s the equivalent of the Loony Tunes’ Tasmanian Devil. She never stops! She has no clue about personal space. She is always up in EVERYONE’S face. She LOVES visitors! She is exceedingly clever and entirely EXTRA! She is absolutely silly and we love her! The only time she is even remotely calm is in the morning. She does not like getting up and will stay under the duvet for as long as possible. She loves bed so much that sometimes she crawls back under the duvet once the bed is made.

So, that’s a little bit about us and our humans. We are so excited to have you on this journey with us.

We hope you enjoy reading Eleven Dogs Live With Me!, and that you and your little people will become our people too!

Lots of Licky Love,

The Eleven!

And here’s a tiny postscript from, Mom, the author…

The dogs have pretty much covered all the necessary introductions, but just to let you know that there will be lots more to come; merchandise, games, specials, activities, and of course, stories about the dogs. They truly are my muses. When I got my first dog in 2005, he changed my life forever. Like dessert, dogs make everything better!

Thanks so much for being here. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed creating it!